They're Ones To Talk

4.19.2006
Ore : 1:11 PM

How not to be an ugly American:

* Don't make jokes about sticking fingers in dykes. Especially if your name is Katrina.
* Eat somewhere besides Outback Steakhouse; don't whine that you can't find a "Sonic's" in Normandy.
* Don't torture people.
* Don't bring London to a stand-still with your helicopters and surveillance equipment and entourage of 5,000.
* Do use a tranlator if when speaking Spanish you sound like Peggy Hill.
* Do just remain in the offices of the State Department in Washington if you look like Peggy Hill.
* Don't interfere in the governance of sovereign nations.
* Don't attack your allies just because they caught you in a blatant lie that wouldn't have fooled a slow five-year-old.
* Do refrain from saying things like "Oh, you have blacks too?" In fact, save all your comments about ethnicity. Ideally, you won't talk at all.
* Be sure you can point out a country in question before dictating any policy concerning that country.
* Don't make an ass of yourself, when trying to duck out of some hard questions, by trying to open and escape through a locked door.
* Do call whatever heads of state you meet by their proper names; save the condescending nicknames for your domestic toadies.


***

I could do more, but it's sunny outside, dammit.

The truth about ugly Americans abroad aside (I've seen it, so has
David Sedaris -- many of you have as well), don't you just love how the anti-Americanism that's been inflamed in recent years by the venality and outright criminality of our ruling class is somehow *our* responsibility to try and mitigate?

Whatever. I'm not traveling abroad any time soon -- not even with a maple leaf tacked to my ass. Besides, I'm probably on a no-fly list anyway.

posted by teh l4m3 at 1:11 PM | Permalink |

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Comments for They're Ones To Talk
It's true, people should have to pass a cultural meshability test before they get on the plane.

you should go to madamerouge's friend's blog here

none of this makes any difference any more to me, none. because any morning now, i'm going to wake up and find a blue box parked on my street corner and this guy with a british accent will come out and i'll help him save the world from aliens - yes, aliens - and after he'll ask me if i want to come along because the box travels in time too and i'll be leaving all this nonsense behind.

(eyes closed fingers in ears) la la la yes it will happen yes it will yes it will yes yes yes.

Thank God less than 20% of Americans have passports. And some words from Heather Mallick:

Americans show themselves to the world mainly through their television, and yet they wonder why foreigners detest them. Everyone has a personal last straw, and mine was one of those relentlessly optimistic home-improvement shows on a wonderful new product: the "maintenance-free white picket fence." You guessed it: By maintenance-free, they meant plastic. It snapped together. What astonished me was that they were still calling it a fence. And somehow you just knew that next summer, when it sagged and yellowed, they wouldn't see it, and when a light breeze carried it away, they'd be really surprised.

Americans have even made themselves physically ridiculous. When you walk around Paris, the memory you bring home with you is not of the Seine or that embarrassing dog problem, it's les fesses enormes,the huge buttocks of the American tourists. They go one way, their owners go another. These people look like they're being stalked by something horrible, and to what purpose? It's not as if they enjoyed the process.

I think of the bounty Americans had, an Edenic landscape clogged with visionaries, some with a notion that the freedom of slaves was worth a fight to the death.

And then I think how the U.S. Postal Service just issued a Barbie stamp.

Americans themselves call it dumbing down, but I think it's more a matter of catering to Southerners. My theory is that the United States was ruined by air conditioning. That's what made possible the industrial rise of the South and finally allowed what was basically a swamp populated by yokels to be taken semi-seriously.

American reporter David Drehle, in the course of a very depressed book on Florida's death row, has a simpler explanation. He says America occasionally gives itself a shake and the scum settles to the bottom. My impression is that tiny bubbles rise, too, isolated outbreaks of intelligence that thrive in the colder climates of the Eastern Seaboard, Seattle, and parts of the Midwest. This explains Harper's Magazine, some fine, subversive rock 'n' roll, and a Web site known as The Onion.

If you ever want evidence that Americans are the most ineducable people on Earth, read the amazon.com Web site that purports to sell books and offers "reviews" written by actual readers. It's terrifying. Most of them are complaints that they were forced to read this damn book by some hated authority figure like a teacher, or Oprah, and it doesn't have a plot they can follow, so watch out.

I just don't get the ending, one wrote angrily, and I wanted to cry. He was talking about The Great Gatsby. "Gradually, I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes -- a fresh, green breast of the new world."

not even with a maple leaf tacked to my ass

Now that would be a nice sight, I am sure.

_________________


I helped with the French translation on the American Apology Shirt!

Don't attack your allies just because they caught you in a blatant lie that wouldn't have fooled a slow five-year-old

My 6yr old started to laugh and then realized he was 6. That 5yr old shit is so old school to him now.

Wow, Peter. I was gonna come up to Toronto and hang out with all you guys, but now...not so much.

tw: Rather, every American should be forced as part of the early educational process to live for at least 6 months abroad...

jimmy: seen it. thanks.

dex: you can have Tom Baker. But if it's Eccleston, I get him.

tbl: haha. Thanks for sharing.

madame: it would be. I swear it.

elmo: we should elect your son.

When I was in Paris, I remember being in a restaurant. I saw one really fat guy. With nothing else to identify himI thought to myself, "That's an American." Sure enough, when he opened his mouth there was no mistake. Naturally, he was also the loudest talker. I could hear him from across the room.

Not ripping off your avatar, Elmo. The gold teeth were starting to chafe.

does it really matter anyway?

Yes, Tim, it matters a lot. Thinking that it doesn't is dangerous.

Have you seen this?

One more present here

Teh, I'm leaving soon for Italy, and I 've got no worries on this front...I catch a little anti-Americanism (mostly from bigoted Communists), but most all Europeans know not all, or even most, Americans are the ugly kind. Plus, I'm hot.
  • Posted at 4:17 PM | By Anonymous Anonymous

TBL, ranting aren't we?! I seem to think you heart a few Americans here in the bloggersphere who have passports. Though, UC was bothering me at the ROM and I told him to stop bothering me because I am a 'Super Power' state. He was NOT amused.

:lol:

I'm confused, how am I supposed to visit those other countries without at least 100 people dedicated to making sure I don't have to touch their dirty streets.

I remember when I had to leave all my "American" clothes behind on trips through eastern Europe. But that was back when the Iron Curtain was still up and now we are the Soviets of the 1980s. How am I supposed to dress when abroad?

ARGH!

I think I'll just take up cross dressing. Then people will just think I am batshit insane.

"Baby look pretty now, mommy?"

Chuckie, black and depressing for trendy funerals has always been the way to go in Europe. Asia is jeans and Mickey Mouse and well you know Mon, what the warm waters is like.

It's NYC and LA that should confuse you.

I've printed all of this out for my trip this summer to England.

Americans themselves call it dumbing down, but I think it's more a matter of catering to Southerners. My theory is that the United States was ruined by air conditioning. That's what made possible the industrial rise of the South and finally allowed what was basically a swamp populated by yokels to be taken semi-seriously.

American reporter David Drehle, in the course of a very depressed book on Florida's death row, has a simpler explanation. He says America occasionally gives itself a shake and the scum settles to the bottom. My impression is that tiny bubbles rise, too, isolated outbreaks of intelligence that thrive in the colder climates of the Eastern Seaboard, Seattle, and parts of the Midwest. This explains Harper's Magazine, some fine, subversive rock 'n' roll, and a Web site known as The Onion.

Sure, blame it on the South as usual. That's a bunch of bullshit. It's really the fault of the northerners for being so rude and thinking they can make anywhere they go just like where they came from.

The ugly Americans are all over. When I was in Europe various times, they were all there. Getting pissed off because the chicken place gave them some dark meat. Speaking louder to get the "furriners" to understand them.

But every European who I told I was an American to, they seemed just fine with it, and interested in my being an American, not angry at me or anything like that.

T3h, where are you man, as one of the two people that regularly comment on my piece of shit blog, I'm starting to worry about your absence...

If I see a video clip of someone in Gitmo eating a gigantic burger, I'll know what's happened...

Cultural meshability?

The English footy fans abroad are even worse than Americans, and that's saying something.

* Don't interfere in the governance of sovereign nations.

that's like a national pastime isn't it?

a lot like baseball, what with all the south americans involved

it's a lot like baseball, with bigger explosions.

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